This year the Army’s goal is to recruit 80,000 active duty and reserve soldiers. The Navy is trying to sign up 42,000; the Air Force is looking for 27,000, and the Marines hope to bring on 38,000. That comes to 187,000. The Army National Guard will also attempt to lure 40,000.
In cities and towns from New Delhi to New York the socio-political policies that led to the Grenfell Tower disaster in west London are being repeated; redevelopment and gentrification, the influx of corporate money and the expelling of the poor, including families that have lived in an area for generations. To this, add austerity, the privatization of public services and the annihilation of social housing and a cocktail of interconnected causes takes shape. Communities break up, independent businesses gradually close down, diversity disappears and another neighbourhood is absorbed within the expensive homogenized collective.
The idea that the United States has a problem with war propaganda is typically scratched in a bad-apples manner with a story that the U.S. has set up a new propaganda agency, such as the Global Engagement Center, or hired a company, such as the Lincoln Group, to plant articles in foreign media. Or we’ll read a report that former generals are secretly picking up their talking points from the Pentagon and their income from weapons companies while appearing as objective commenters on television. Or occasionally we’ll hear the recognition that some particularly obvious or disproven set of lies (such as those regarding Iraq in 2003) were the result of a well-meaning slip-up.
‘It has been a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that Fortune which loves the brave.’ US Secretary of State John Hay, defining the Spanish-American War of 1898, in a letter to Theodore Roosevelt, July 27 of that year, the war ushering in America’s Imperial era and unequivocally heralding its hegemonic ambitions.
Japan has found a way to write off nearly half its national debt without creating inflation. We could do that too.
Let’s face it. There is no way the US government is ever going to pay back a $20 trillion federal debt. The taxpayers will just continue to pay interest on it, year after year.
The U.S. Senate has increased sanctions on the people of Iran and Russia, if the House and President go along. The Senate vote was 98-2, with Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voting no, the latter despite his support for the Russian half of the bill.
The hype and unsubstantiated hope behind the self-driving car movement continues unabated, distracting from addressing necessities of old “mobilities” such as inadequate public transit and upgrading highway and rail infrastructure.
Originally posted February 7, 2008
These videos may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.
1984 George Orwell (1954)
Emmanuel Goldstein on Sep 26, 2013
BBC Television’s live production of George Orwell’s “1984”. Produced in 1954. Creative Commons license: Public Domain.
Lily Pads is a name given to a new and more flexible type of US military base abroad, among the some 1000 US foreign military bases, covering the Earth, but for the most part surrounding Russia and China. Many are near Iran. I gave this title to Lily Pad Roll, the second volume of the Europe Trilogy (The Trojan Spy, Lily Pad Roll, Time of Exile), political novels published by Punto Press, New York. This novel was published in 2012 and is available on Amazon both in print format and Kindle book. The story develops around a young American soldier and communications genius, Elmer Redway, a forerunner of Manning, stationed at an American military base in Bulgaria who finds such astounding secrets of US military crimes that he divulges them to WikiLeaks and elsewhere. When he is discovered he deserts and begins an underground existence in Europe. He is aided by Karl Heinz, a wealthy German journalist (the book’s second major character). The two are together in Berlin when the invasion of Iran gets underway. Though my invasion of Iran is invented, it is quite plausible and could happen this way. Were I to give a title to this chapter, I would most likely call it, Persian Paradigm.
Here is a debate held at Wesleyan University in 2005 between Christopher Hitchens and me. Hitchens went to his grave as a supporter of the Bush/Cheney venture. He supported Bush in 2004. His turn to the right (from weak leftish/center) won him the attention of all the mass media, especially Fox and the like, and lecture invitations at fat fees. Others of us were less enthralled about his anti-Islam warrior politics.
The Historical Gastonia Textile Mill Strikes Are Not Forgotten
When in the early part of this millennium I was writing a rather surrealistic novel, ASHEVILLE, about the town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina where I started out my life, I ran into the story of the Asheville-based self-professed Communist writer, Olive Tilford Dargan, of whom I had never heard before. Visiting then her gravesite in the little known Green Hills Cemetery in West Asheville and researching her and her activities I fell into a gossamer review of early 19th century labor struggles in the good old U.S. South.
In 2006 a book was published called Losing Our Democracy by civic leader, Mark Green. His 21st book, it was the usual Mark Green brand of meticulous research with memorable examples. One would have thought such an important subject would have received wide coverage and circulation. In fact, it was almost completely ignored by reviewers and the media interviewers. In 2017, the danger of having the door shut on the practice of democracy by its citizens is more important than at any other time in recent history.